How Natasha started out
Natasha has always been a keen baker, a passion that has been passed down through generations; however, an extreme change in diet was one of the key ingredients in the mix that would eventually create The Gildergreen. Being forced to adopt a gluten-free lifestyle meant that she had to totally rethink the way she prepared food. Many of the ingredients she had usually taken for granted could no longer be used and substitutes needed to be found.
Determined not to compromise on taste or quality, Natasha began to research the science behind gluten and experimented with different flour mixes until she was able to make delicious cakes again.
Natasha soon realised that she wanted to share this passion and knowledge and make cakes for others to enjoy. She had been feeling unfulfilled in her office job and felt that it was now or never to make the break and do something she really enjoyed. Her family gave her their full support, but she still needed a little help with the business planning process – this is where Enterprise Hub came in.
How the Enterprise Hub helped
Natasha contacted the team at Enterprise Hub and had a meeting set up with Jo Mountfort, a business advisor at The Women’s Organisation. Jo helped to simplify the process and through regular meetings and access to courses and training, Natasha was able to streamline her idea.
“Jo made me see that it was actually achievable and not as daunting as I had thought. She broke everything down for me into small tasks. I started to feel really excited and motivated and that I really could do this!”
Enterprise Hub offered her extensive resources, such as specific spreadsheets, access to training and courses, and most importantly, the advice from a dedicated business advisor:
“Jo has been incredibly helpful, I come out of every meeting feeling empowered. I would not have been able to do this without her support and help”
About the business and how it has grown
Natasha’s cakes are all handmade, gluten-free and contain no added preservatives or chemicals. Every cake is made to order and bespoke to the customer’s vision, creating a more special and unique experience than buying off the shelf.
“I want my cakes to be a delicious treat and make my customers feel like nothing has been compromised by the lack of gluten. I use organic ingredients where possible and fresh fruit and veg.”
Her desire to create cakes which are a bit more special than those you find in the supermarket has resonated and she now has several regular stockists, as well as her online sales and stalls at Woolton Farmers Market and the University Squares Market.
Natasha is proud of what she has created and the journey she has taken to get to where she is today. She now relishes having the freedom to make her own decisions and work at her own pace.
She has most recently launched an online cake subscription service, sending out monthly letterbox-friendly selections of bakes and has partnered up with The Liverpool Tea Warehouse so that she can also offer a selection of their teas to complement her cakes.
As the gluten-free industry continues to develop, Natasha hopes to fly the flag for gluten-free treats across Merseyside and beyond.
She said: “I hope to have stalls at festivals and markets throughout the summer. Do come and have a taste of The Gildergreen bakes – even if you aren’t gluten free, you may be surprised!”
You can find the The Gildergreen online at www.thegildergreen.co.uk, and you can keep up with everything Gildergreen through Facebook or Instagram @thegildergreen!